Wednesday, January 16, 2019

Giving TrueStudio a shot

Giving TrueStudio a shot


Since my first encounter with ST microcontrollers I have always used the Keil IDE. I have nothing against it, well maybe the fact it is lacking in the aesthetics department compared to modern IDE design. But as an engineer does that really matter? I will take a tool that just works versus one that looks pretty and gives trouble. But what if we could get a tool that jut works and can also look pretty?
I am not implying that this is what TrueStudio offers, after all its based on Eclipse, and I happen to dislike eclipse based IDEs or anything running on Java, but they sure do look pretty.
I have only been using TrueStudio a few days and so far so good. I have a pretty capable laptop so I am not hating Eclipse as much because those laggy menus are not as prominent. What really made me give TrueStudio a try was that ST purchased Atolic thus making TrueStudio available for free to use with ST devices. This is a great move by ST, they have quite an array of supported IDEs, giving their users as many options as they could possibly want. This means that STM32 CUBE MX now has support to generate projects specific for TrueStudio, not that I use CUBE HAL much but the fact that ST thought it worth their while spending $7 million on the IDE or rather the Atolic company inspires confidence that they will continue to support the IDE and its development for years to come.

ST has acquired Atollic for a cash payment of $7 million, funded with available cash, and a deferred earn-out contingent on certain conditions, which ST currently estimates will be about $1 million.

Likewise Keil is owned by ARM so that also should inspire some confidence in its users. One thing I do love about ARM is that when I open a project for a specific ARM chip that I have not used before, Keil immediately asks if I want to download the supporting files. So I always have the most up to date CMSIS libraries and vendor header files for any ARM based microcontroller vendor not just ST and this I LOVE!!! With TrueStudio I am not sure about the library updating process, but I am sure it is probably a little bit more involved.

Debugging on the free version of Keil is limited to 32kb code size. I have never exceeded this in my personal endeavors. Debugging on TrueStudio is not limited by anything, all features are unlocked. So far so good given how little time I have used it.
I will update this post as I find more pros and cons concerning TrueStudio.

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